I have been looking at MSNBC all day (11/14/2017). Not on purpose, mind you.
I turned it on earlier this morning to see what, if anything, had happened overnight to plunge America even deeper into the seeming Trump abyss, and I just never turned it off.
I dozed off on the sofa, woke up and ate my lunch on the sofa, graded some essays on the sofa, answered some emails from the sofa, and let the TV keep talking.
I sat from nine this morning to two this afternoon, subconsciously soaking up all the convoluted talk from back ass-ward Republican officials and pundits about Roy Moore, hearing his fifth accuser bawl out her horrific story in a sickening loop, and tuning in and out as my outrage and exhaustion alternately impelled me.
And this is what I have to say after listening to the umpteenth white male conservative hedge at being asked whether he would rather have a pedophile or Democrat in the US Senate:
These white men attempting to dodge this question are not nearly as artful as they think.
They keep arguing that if the accusations brought to light against Moore are proven to be true, they will retract their support of Moore and his run for the Senate.
Well, Moore is not being prosecuted for any of the crimes or acts of misconduct of which he has been accused. He will not be prosecuted for any of the crimes or acts of misconduct of which he has been accused. So the accusations will never be “proven.”
Alabama has the shortest sexual abuse statutes in the United States, so when Moore’s victims didn’t go to the authorities on Moore directly after he assaulted them, they gave up their opportunities to go the authorities on Moore.
(In Alabama, in child sexual abuse civil cases, the statute of limitations is two years after the alleged victim’s 19th birthday, and in criminal sexual abuse cases, the statute of limitations for felony sexual abuse cases is three years and the statute of limitation for misdemeanor sexual abuse cases is one year.)
And Moore’s supporters know this.
They know the American public can never receive a legal verdict on Moore’s guilt.
They keep saying they will retract their support if Moore is proven guilty so they don’t have to retract their support.
They pretend to be protecting the rule of law and upholding the principle of innocent until proven guilty when they are really acting on political tribalism and sideways racism and misogyny.
They are immoral, unethical, cellophane, and tiresome as fuck.
Now, along with the “wait & seers,” you have the “technically, he isn’t a pedophilers.” They want to pretend that Moore merely “preferred” to date “younger” women, and he wasn’t preying on teenagers while in his mid-thirties.
To them, I grant that Moore isn’t technically a pedophile. By clinical definition, the pedophile engages in sexual behavior with children 13 years and younger, and the youngest any of Moore’s victims on the record has claimed to be at the time of her assault is 14.
That doesn’t absolve Moore of wrongdoing, though.
Because the age of consent in every single state in the US is 16 or older, and the biggest age difference legally allowed between a person that is the age of consent and his or her sexual partner is 10 years (in Utah, not Alabama, where Moore was working and trolling back in the day, while in his late 20s and early 30s).
In Alabama, the age of consent is 16, and the legally allowable age difference is two years, which means the oldest someone that is sleeping with a 16-year-old can be without committing a crime in that state is 18.
People under the age of consent cannot consent to sexual activity, according to the law, so anyone engaging in sexual activity with them is engaging in nonconsensual sexual activity.
And that is sexual assault.
That is sexual abuse; that is molestation; or that is rape. Statutory or violent. It doesn’t matter.
So when these Republican officials and evangelicals are talking shit on cable TV or online or anywhere else, saying they are unsure whether Moore is worse for America than his Democratic opponent, and they hinge that argument on the fact that he is technically not a pedophile, they are not cleaning up their intentions.
No matter the semantics, they are still aligning themselves with a sexual criminal.
Roy Moore is still a sexual criminal – not according to opinion, but according to the fucking rule of law that the members of his party are constantly referencing whenever they want to justify their heartless actions or emphasize that their unethical actions are not illegal.
Moore is a sexual criminal according to the rule of law that he and his kettle (the name for a group of circling vultures) of withered cronies wrongfully use as a hiding place for their deep-seated amorality.
For anyone undecided on the matter of Moore’s guilt and interested in weighing the veracity of the allegations that have been made against him, all you need to do is scrutinize the following facts:
- According to the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, only 15.8 to 35 percent of sexual assaults in the US are reported to authorities;
- According to the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, survivors cite fear of reprisal and fear of lack of evidence as reasons for not reporting assaults or attacks;
- According to the Iowa Law Review, “rape claims [are] often dismissed out of hand with little or no investigation”;
- According to The Chicago Tribune, misconceptions about rape prosecutions have propagated the notion throughout American culture that “rape and sexual harassment can be minimized, marginalized, or even mocked because the clock has wound down on when the crime could or . . . should be reported or prosecuted”;
- Public figures like Moore (Weinstein, Trump) foster public goodwill with their personae and so-called accomplishments, or they buy public goodwill with their philanthropy, making it difficult for the typical American to conceive of them as criminals;
- Public figures like Moore (Weinstein, Trump) possess a great deal of power and belong to powerful networks, making it plausible and possible for them to retaliate against women that go on the record accusing them of committing sexual crimes.
If, when you are considering whether the accusations against Moore are true, you acknowledge that none of these accusers can have Moore arrested at this point and very few people credit them with any credibility, then you should be able to admit that these women stand to gain nothing material from going public with their stories.
They can’t make any real money off of going public, and they can’t gain any fame from it – only infamy.
Their names get to go down in the same Hall of Undeserved Shame as Anita Hill and Juanita Broaddrick.
The only thing they could logically or realistically be seeking to gain by coming forward then is the assurance that they tried to prevent a remorseless criminal from becoming a US Senator. Because their accusations, if they were lies, wouldn’t be worth telling in this current cultural climate, with its new, intensely virulent strain of misogyny.
And more likely than not, when all of this is “over,” they will have succeeded in doing little more than inadvertently inviting a bunch of mean-spirited mendacious scrutiny into their private lives. They will have sacrificed their anonymity and a certain sort of oppressed dignity or respectability in order to reveal a truth that no one really wants to hear.
Honestly, think about it: When has America ever rewarded a woman for calling out her politically powerful sexual attacker?
(If you’re unsure of the answer to this question, I advise you to ask Anita Hill.)
The answer is never, so how likely are these women to be lying, particularly when the tendency in public conversation about women’s safety is to put the onus for the harm women suffer back on the women themselves.
Right at this moment the bitter back-and-forth in which the Fed, media, and citizenry are engaging about the matter is illustrating how little America on the whole respects or appreciates women that take the socially suicidal plunge into becoming sexual whistleblowers.
And one last thing – one last point – for anyone stupid enough to argue – outside of everything else – that being a sexual offender doesn’t automatically mean that a person is unfit to govern.
Take a look at the etiology of the typical sexual offender and then tell me that shit with a straight face.
According to science – the other system of laws that Trump and his sycophants like to contort like the wiry hairs of their unsightly toupees – sexual offenders, in addition to getting aroused by having sexual contact with others against thir wills or without their consent, get aroused by inflicting pain and humiliation onto others, participating in violent and aggressive acts, and watching acts of violence or aggression.
They know that rape, molestation, and other forms of sexual assault are immoral, illegal, and, most of all, harmful to others, but they choose – and it is instrumental that those of us that are not sexual offenders accept this truth – that sexual offenders choose – to rape, molest, and victimize other people anyway.
Sexual offenders have cognitive distortions and/or pro-offending attitudes that allow them to justify the terrible things they do to others, such as believing a woman that dresses a certain way “wants” or “deserves” to be assaulted.
They are much more capable than non-offenders of convincing themselves that their deviant and dangerous behaviors are not as injurious or serious as they really are.
They are also extremely capable of serially assaulting people because they don’t accurately perceive that they are doing serious harm, or they don’t accurately perceive the degree of harm that they cause when they assault people.
we you (because this is all you, Republican Party) push to put sexual offenders in public office, you are saying that it is acceptable and perhaps even advisable to empower people that deliberately, consistently, and guiltlessly hurt others to inflict their wills on innocent and undeserving men, women, and children.
And, if the evidence of that claim seems too tied into concepts of sexual behavior to encompass non-sexual behavior, then consider that a great number of sexual offenders have what clinicians refer to as a “cluster” of non-sexual personality deficits that also make them unfit to govern.
Yes – sexual offenders often have ineffective communication skills; they have difficulty getting along with people; they have a profound lack of empathy; and they lack effective or healthy psychological and/or emotional coping skills. They tend to be highly impulsive and unwilling to think through the consequences of their actions. They are often isolated because they lack social skills, and they struggle with behavioral self-regulation. They have difficult handling their emotions. They experience a lot of problems in intimate relationships, which tends to make them even less empathic and even more emotionally unstable and allows them to experience even more cognitive dissonance.
Moore is a former judge whose record bears substantial and substantive evidence that the personal issues that have impelled him to sexually attack underage women have very probably affected the way that he performs professionally.
His professional track record proves that he was unfit to be a judge and strongly suggests that he would be disastrous as a federal legislator.
Again, for the hair-splitters, these two positions are not two sides of the same coin.
If police officers are, say, pennies, then prosecutors are nickels, municipal and state legislators are dimes, federal legislators are quarters, and executives are dollars.
That means state legislators have much more power than judges. Their power is much more proximal to executive and presidential power, which is even more reason why Moore has no business yielding it.
The US Congress is responsible for making laws that apply to every state in the country; Congress has the power to “declare war, coin money, raise an army and navy, regulate commerce, establish rules of immigration and naturalization, and establish the federal courts and their jurisdictions,” according to ushistory.org.
Congress oversees the annual federal budget and investigates any wrongdoings committed by public officials, including the President.
In fact, the US Congress is among one of the most powerful legislative bodies in the world.
US Senators specifically confirm presidential appointments and try impeachment officials after the House initiates impeachment procedures and raises articles of impeachment.
They serve six-year rather than two-year terms, and they approve treaties, so, in a way, they are more influential or powerful than members of the House.
So, if Moore is allowed to win a seat in the Senate, he will be afforded six years of opportunities to inject his deviant attitudes, including his old-fashioned Southern deep-fried blatant blend of fifty-leven types of bigotry, into the American political discourse and possibly even the actual governance of the country.
That thought should be repulsive to anyone that claims to want America to be great, whether again or eventually.
America has been and still is inexorably shaped by its leaders. That is why Roy Moore became a viable, front-running candidate for Alabama Senator in the first place. He hitched his wagon to the pants zipper of our predatory, pussy-grabbing 45th President.
You can pretend to be unable to imagine how Moore’s tenure in the Senate would unfold, but you know it would very probably be a legislative version of Trump’s presidency, i.e. a fucking clusterfuck.
Now, I know the chances of any of Moore’s supporters reading this blog are nil.
I know that my audience of readers is largely liberal, Democrat, or independent.
But I addressed this post to Moore’s army of marauding assholes for a reason.
Moore’s political ascension is symbolic of an alarming sexist trend occurring in this country’s political culture.
A very small but very powerful white male cis-hetero contingent of the Republican Party has become so terrified of losing its political foothold that they have adopted this pro quid pro ethic by which they will work to place even sexual deviants and criminals in office as long as these men prevent Democrats from taking office.
This is extremely dangerous because in the process of snatching up presidencies and Congressional seats they are also destigmatizing – they are normalizing – sexual assault and abuse.
We who know what a horrific slippery slope down which this can lead American culture cannot stand by while they do this and simply roll our eyes, suck our teeth, and mumble under our collective breath about how “ridiculous” they are.
We have to speak truth to power.
We have to say – whenever we have a chance of being heard – that they are dead fucking wrong.
And we have to fight them in whatever ways we can.
I know that anti-Trump Americans are tired of this refrain, but the midterm elections are coming up next year.
And those of us that care about making this country, shit, safer for women again need to demand that the candidates in next year’s elections explicitly renounce this insidious “conservative” vein of misogyny that has crept into our politics and back their renouncements with consistent, meaningful action that reverses the damage the Trump White House has done before we give them our votes.
In an open letter to Sean Hannity in response to the flurry of accusations that has surrounded him, Moore says that his wife Kayla and he have five granddaughters.
He throws that up at Hannity and Hannity’s Twitter followers as if being a grandparent to girls somehow makes it impossible for him an abuser of girls.
What Moore doesn’t say is that he did not have sexual dealings with the women that have accused him of assault.
He denies the allegations of two of his victims, Leigh Corfman and Beverly Nelson, and says he “did not date underage girls.”
I suspect, however, that Moore is playing a similar semantical game to his supporters when he says he did not “date” underage girls.
Because he didn’t date these women when they were underage. He molested them. He harassed them. He stalked them. He assaulted them
I think he knows it, and we know it, and we should do something about it.
I think that is our obligation as citizens.
We should make America’s political sphere as unsafe for predators like Moore as he apparently made the Gadsden Mall – what appears to have been his favorite place to go trolling back in the day – for young unsuspecting girls.
We should build a wall around the federal government that blocks out assholes like Moore.
We should lock them out even if we can’t fucking lock them up.